WASHINGTON, DC - The League of Conservation Voters (LCV), which works to turn environmental values into national priorities, today added Congressman Stevan Pearce (R-NM) to its 2008 "Dirty Dozen" list.* Pearce’s record of extremism marks him as one of the twelve worst members of Congress currently up for election.
"During his five years in Congress, Steve Pearce has voted consistently against the environment," LCV Senior Vice-President for Political Affairs and Public Education Tony Massaro said. "Of the 80 conservation key votes since he has been elected, Pearce has voted against clean air, clean energy, protecting the nation's wildlife, and preserving our natural heritage in all but one vote."
Pearce's lifetime LCV score is an embarrassing 1%. He has earned three 0% scores in his tenure and his highest annual score was 5% in his first year.** His opponent, Tom Udall, has earned a 96% lifetime LCV score.
In addition to owning millions of dollars of stock in Key Energy, a Texas-based oil services company, Steve Pearce has accepted more from the oil and gas industry, $556,649, than from any other economic sector. He has voted to give more than $14 billion in tax breaks to the oil industry, opposed renewable electricity, and fought against fuel efficient cars that would save New Mexico families hundreds of dollars at the pump.
Pearce has been a constant supporter of drilling in Otero Mesa, the vast desert grasslands of southern New Mexico. The largest single contributor to Pearce's finances, Yates Petroleum, is the largest lease-holder in the Otero Mesa.
On his website, Pearce asserts, "I believe our land is a precious resource and we should protect, preserve and use it wisely."
"Unfortunately, his voting record speaks differently," said Massaro. "If Pearce believes that 'our land is a precious resource' why has he worked so hard to help Big Oil plunder our most beautiful lands?"
Pearce voted against the interests of his constituents by opposing the amendment requiring utilities to produce at least 15% of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2020. He has consistently opposed extending tax credits for renewable energy that would increase the economic potential of wind and solar energy.
"Pearce's ties to the oil industry have polluted his record," Massaro said. "As a congressman, he has proven time and again that New Mexico's interests take a back-seat to the interests of big oil. Steve Pearce is too extreme for New Mexico.”
*LCV's trademark "Dirty Dozen" program targets current and former members of Congress - regardless of party affiliation - who consistently vote against the environment and are running in races where LCV has a serious chance of affecting the outcome.
**The non-partisan LCV Scorecard is a nationally accepted yardstick used to rate Members of Congress on conservation and clean energy issues. Based on key conservation votes in the House and Senate, it is often used by the media to quickly describe a Member's record. For more information, visit www.lcv.org/scorecard.